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Sunday 15th March 2020 – The Third Sunday in Lent

The Third Sunday in Lent
Sunday 15th March 2020

Today: 9am Holy Communion
11am Morning Prayer
7pm Evening Prayer

Wednesday 10.30am Holy Communion
7.30pm Penitential Service

Mothering Sunday: 9am Holy Communion
11am Family Service

SCRIPTURE READINGS: Exodus 17:1-7 (OT page 61);
Romans 5:1-11 (NT page 146; Reader: Marcus Gamble); John 4:5-42 (NT page 90).


FROM THE RECTOR: We are living in unusual times and are moving into unchartered territory. Many people have been asking what is happening regarding Church Services and Parish activities in light of the Coronavirus Covid-19 situation. For the time being, and until we are advised otherwise by the Public Health Agency, Church Services will continue as normal on Sundays and our midweek Penitential Services. S-Club will also meet at the usual time on a Sunday morning. Many other activities will though be postponed in response to the concerns of those in the wider community. The general advice is to please stay at home if you feel ill and display influenza–like symptoms. The symptoms to be aware of in the case of the coronavirus include cough, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and fever. Do not come to Church Services until you feel well. We have to be mindful not just of our own health as individuals but also of the health of our neighbours. The elderly and those with underlying health concerns are very vulnerable to the coronavirus and so we have to be careful to protect the whole family. Practical measures can make a real difference so good hygiene practices are important, including hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer gels. Hospital visitation by clergy is now to be restricted to situations where the patient is seriously ill and have requested their own Rector. Everything else will be handled on a day to day basis by Chaplains. Nursing Homes have also tightened their rules on visitation. The situation is changing day by day so if there are any updates or changes that you should be aware of I will add them to the Parish website and Facebook page.
Thanks. Shane

NEW ARCHBISHOP: Bishop John McDowell has been elected as the new Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. Bishop McDowell (64), succeeds Archbishop Richard Clarke who retired on 2nd February. He was ordained in 1996 and has served as Bishop of Clogher in the Church of Ireland since 2011. ‘I am overwhelmed by the confidence which my fellow bishops have placed in me to fill this ancient office,” he said. “I look forward to working with them in the time to come and to serving the people of the Diocese of Armagh and the Church of Ireland in whatever way I can,” he added. Bishop McDowell will be 106th in the succession of abbots, bishops and archbishops of Armagh since St Patrick.

WEDNESDAY PENITENTIAL SERVICE: Throughout Lent there will be a Service of the Word every Wednesday night in Church at 7.30pm which will last approximately half an hour. If you are giving up something for Lent why not give up half an hour midweek to attend the Wednesday night Service?

GOSPEL EVENING CANCELLED: The Gospel Evening, featuring the Dromore Male Voice Choir, which was to be held in Ballymore Parish Church on Sunday 22nd March, has been cancelled in light of the developing situation regarding Coronavirus Covid-19. We hope this event can be rescheduled for a date later in the year.

BALLYMORE BOWLING CLUB has now finished for the season.

LENTEN LUNCH: Many thanks to all those who supported the Lenten Lunch last Sunday by their presence and financial contributions. Thanks also to the S-Club Leaders and members who made and served the lunch and provided the entertainment. All the money raised will be given to Action Mental Health.

S-CLUB SPONSORED WALK will take place on Sunday 29th March 2020, starting at 2.30pm in Clare Glen. Parents and friends are asked to join the S-Club members on their walk and refreshments will be served at the half-way mark! Walking shoes or wellington boots are recommended as some parts of the path are quite mucky!

MOTHERS’ UNION: On Sunday 22nd March (Mothering Sunday) the Mother’s Union will feature on “Songs of Praise” BBC 1 at 1.15pm.

FLOWER FESTIVAL in Ballymore Parish Church from 8th – 10th May 2020 as part of the 75th Anniversary of VE Day celebrations. The theme is “Let there be Peace”. We have contacted local shops and businesses asking for support with the sponsorship of the flowers and have received a great response. Parish families may also wish to sponsor flowers and some may wish to do so in memory of a loved one or to celebrate a significant life event like a baptism or wedding anniversary. If you would like to do this please place your donation in one of the yellow gift aid envelopes which are available on the table in the Church porch and ensure to include your details and information about your donation on a piece of paper inside. Envelopes can be placed on the collection plate or given to the Churchwardens. Many thanks.

SAFEGUARDING TRUST: Our Parish is committed to the Church of Ireland Safeguarding Trust policy which sets standards for the welfare of all children involved in the ministry of the church with a view to protecting them. The parish panel members to whom any concerns can be brought to are the Rector, Garry Morton and Mrs Ann Poole. Their contact details are displayed on the notice boards in the Church and Parish Hall.

WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENT SHEET: Information and articles to be included on the weekly announcement sheet should be sent to the Parish email address by Thursday evening. Thanks

SICK & BEREAVED: If you know of any parishioners who have been unwell recently, bereaved or who would appreciate a home visit please let the Rector know.